On Tuesday night, as I told you, we went to our church's monthly prayer meeting. Often the format is praying in small groups on specific topics but every now and again it is set up for individual prayer with "stations" all around the room.
On Tuesday we had stations - to pray for the world, ourselves, a confession section and so on. One that I found really interesting was about praying for friends who don't know God. A small table had a tray and some tea lights on it. The idea was to pray for someone and then light a candle for them. There was a lighter but people were instead using already lit tea lights to light their own candle. Some candles lit easier than others, some flared up immediately, others glowed for a bit before growing in intensity. Watching this as I prayed I thought how symbolic this really was...that faith in others won't generally just "appear" from a magical lighter - it comes through being touched by the faith of others. Some people will take longer to "catch" than others. The important thing is persistence - none of the candle-lighters on Tuesday gave up if their candle didn't light first time. They kept trying until it was lit, and then watched to check it wasn't going to go out.